Tactics for Hawaii Trip? (Non MR)

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Old Dec 24, 17, 5:11 am
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Tactics for Hawaii Trip? (Non MR)

Hi all,

I am after a bit of advice.

We have an Amex 2 for 1 that expires in Jan 2019, and we thought we'd use it to get us to Hawaii - or rather, part of the way there - for a proper holiday rather than a mileage run. As the flights will start to become available in the next 6/8 weeks I wanted to try to line up our strategy!

​​​​​The obvious thing seems to be to use the voucher for a flight to the West Coast of America and then use cash or Avios for an onward flight.

However, I had a few questions...

1. We can afford to pay cash for tickets if we bought them as a holiday and spread the payments - can you do this for an ex-EU trip, and if so should we focus on any particular departure points? We've done lots of ex-EU trips so are happy with that approach but have only ever bought them on a flight-only basis.

2. If we do use the voucher, is going via LAX/SFO the way to do it, or are there other places that onward connections to Hawaii would work from?

3. I know it is long way off and things change, but are there any airlines/planes/cabins we should avoid on the XXX-Hawaii route?

Sorry, a lot of questions - I hope they are BA-specific enough, I wanted to tap in to the collective knowledge of those who have booked this sort of thing before.

Thank you, and happy Christmas!
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Old Dec 24, 17, 5:47 am
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I visit Hawaii (Maui) once a year using BA to get to the US west coast & then onwards with either Alaska or American.
My preferred way is not so good for Tier Points as I use Alaska Airlines for the west coast to Maui leg (Alaska gives avios miles only, no TP's).

I have in the past used LAX, Seattle and San Diego as my west coast airports - San Diego is my preferred as I find it a small & easy going airport - I also have friends there so the over night stay is not a problem.
LAX was again an overnight stay in an airport hotel - but American did the next day flight so did get TP's, however not a fan of LAX.
Seattle advantage was same day connection to Alaska Airlines Maui flight provided I got the earlier of the two daily BA flights from LHR.

These are the only 3 connections I have personally done but I know some of my Maui friends have also connected from BA via Phoenix - they prefer Hawaiian Airlines and their A330's but I think you can connect to American from Phoenix.

The Boeing 737-800 economy cabin on Alaska is pretty standard - no seat back TV's but you can hire DVD players or of course load up your I pad with movies.
Free soft drinks are provided with food and booze for purchase - seem to remember AA was the same but I haven't used them in a few years.

Hope to have been of help - am sure some of the more points/miles savvy folk will advise also.
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Old Dec 24, 17, 6:38 am
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Hi,

You could also change at LAS.

There are Hawaiian flightd from LAS or with American via LAX.

Regards

TBS
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Old Dec 24, 17, 6:59 am
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Hi,

Off to HNL on Boxing Day, as it happens.

Ended up on Delta out of AMA, via Seattle to HNL - Delta One all the way.

Then HNL-Atlanta on Delta and back to AMS on KLM.

Much cheaper than any other options, and flat bed business all the way. (Although at 1500GBP each it is more than the legendary DUB TP runs!)

Just couldn't get BA/OW to price up anything reasonable.

Only thing is the positioning GLA-AMS tomorrow and a night out in AMS!

I know it is a BA forum, but have you seen the Virgin deals to the West Coast - make the 241 seem pretty worthless!

Or perhaps use the 241 for something else and look at BA multi-partner awards and go in First?
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Old Dec 24, 17, 7:56 am
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American used to fly 767 and is now flying 777's to Maui and Honolulu from DFW. These are the best airplanes to get to the islands. You could fly LHR to DFW, spend the night and continue on to Hawaii the next day. The only catch is that there are almost never any First Class awards available for use with Avios, although there are economy class awards readily available. The first class fares are reasonable for a flight that distance (about $1900 round trip DFW - HNL or OGG) when booking in March 17 for travel in Feb 18) and well worth it for the lie flat seats in First. As a side note, unless you must have shopping and night life, in my opinion Maui is the best island to visit. Avoid the American 757's via Phoenix, they use the oldest, nastiest airplanes on that route.

Last edited by Furby; Dec 24, 17 at 8:02 am
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Old Dec 24, 17, 8:27 am
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Thanks all, some really useful advice here. We're not wedded to BA/One World, but at the moment that's where all our miles are so we're stuck with them for redemption, but a good value cash fare would work whoever it's with!

I'm reasonably happy with securing something to the west coast with the voucher, but if I can prioritise based on timing/availability of onward flights that helps.

Really appreciate the advice, thanks again.
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Old Dec 24, 17, 8:48 am
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Then you should keep an eye on Virgin fates, as noted above.

currently some outstanding deals:
https://www.headforpoints.com/2017/1...class-tickets/

unknown if they will extend to 2019, but worth watching to see.

And if you fly to Hawaii on Delta in F, crediting Virgin with tier points, your whole trip will get you silver status with Virgin, and not far off gold - assuming you donít already hold Virgin status.
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Old Dec 24, 17, 10:07 am
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If you are looking to do a tier point run as part of this trip I would recommend that you use your Amex 2-4-1 to get you to/from YYZ (Toronto) as there is almost always availability in F, and then purchase an AA round-trip ticket from YYZ to HNL via LAX in J. This will give you 4X140 tier points for the paid part of the journey (almost enough for BA silver in one trip!), and if you take the BA 93 from YYZ to LHR you'll have enough time to connect to an AA flight to LAX on the same day (or, of course, you could overnight in YYZ, etc). The return journey is similar if you choose the later BA98 from YYZ to LHR. AA tickets from YYZ to HNL via LAX also tend to be good value. The only downside of booking AA via LAX on this route is that you'll be on A319 or B737 metal in domestic F/J seats (2X2 across) for both the YYZ/LAX and LAX/HNL sectors (but they serve full meals on both flights, etc). As advised in a previous post you'll get longhaul AA J seats on a 777 if you fly from DFW to HNL. The difference here (assuming you still book the YYZ/LHR trip with the Amex 241) is that YYZ to DFW only gets you 40 BA tier points in J, YYZ to LAX gets you 140. Both DFW/HNL and LAX/HNL still get you 140 BA tier points each way, so if it is tier points you are after then the YYZ/LAX/HNL gets you 200 MORE tier points on a return journey in J than YYZ/DFW/HNL.

PM me if you want more detail; I have done this in the past myself.
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Old Dec 24, 17, 11:19 am
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Thanks - hadn't intended a mileage run, but if one happens as part of a bigger trip...

Will look in to that option!
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Old Dec 24, 17, 12:10 pm
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Contrary to some info upthread, AA now has an A330 for the daily flight PHX-HNL. From LAX there are 3 daily A321s, 4 on weekends (Thu-Su), correctly described, 2 daily B772s from DFW.

To OGG, from LAX there's one daily A321, two on weekends(F-S). From PHX one daily (old)B 757, and try to avoid the red-eye return with that, almost 6h flight ! From DFW one daily B772.

To LIH, from LAX there's one daily A321, two on weekends (F-S), from PHX a daily B757, doubled on Saturdays. No direct flights from DFW.

IMHO, the A321s are OK for day use, but wanting to max HI time, with a late afternoon departure, or a red-eye return, I would prefer the domestic F (I fare) lie-flat A330 HNL-PHX or the B772 HNL-DFW or OGG-DFW.

Please note that going from SEA or any other AS connection to any HI destination you'll not retrieve any TPs or Avios unless its a BA ticketed connection from a BA flight, i.e., a stand-alone AS ticket will have to be credited elsewhere .

Good luck with your plans!
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Old Dec 24, 17, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by onobond View Post
Contrary to some info upthread, AA now has an A330 for the daily flight PHX-HNL. From LAX there are 3 daily A321s, 4 on weekends (Thu-Su), correctly described, 2 daily B772s from DFW.

To OGG, from LAX there's one daily A321, two on weekends(F-S). From PHX one daily (old)B 757, and try to avoid the red-eye return with that, almost 6h flight ! From DFW one daily B772.

To LIH, from LAX there's one daily A321, two on weekends (F-S), from PHX a daily B757, doubled on Saturdays. No direct flights from DFW.

IMHO, the A321s are OK for day use, but wanting to max HI time, with a late afternoon departure, or a red-eye return, I would prefer the domestic F (I fare) lie-flat A330 HNL-PHX or the B772 HNL-DFW or OGG-DFW.

Please note that going from SEA or any other AS connection to any HI destination you'll not retrieve any TPs or Avios unless its a BA ticketed connection from a BA flight, i.e., a stand-alone AS ticket will have to be credited elsewhere .

Good luck with your plans!
You might wish to check your facts as quite a lot of what you have posted is incorrect.
For example there are 5 daily AA flights from LAX to OGG all on A321S
Six daily AA flights from LAX to HNL 5 are A321S one is B772
Three daily AA flights from LAX to LIH - all are A321S.
​​​​​​​
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Old Dec 24, 17, 1:28 pm
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From next year there is also a 777 DFW to KOA.

I think the the biggest issue will getting 2 F / J from LHR and back to the west coast, especially in the summer months. DFW has had better availability as has IAH and ATL.

I have been to Kauai, Oahu and Big Island but not Maui. I loved Big Island and Kauai but not so keen on Oahu. Going back to Big Island in 2018.

enjoy your trip.
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Old Dec 24, 17, 1:45 pm
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Originally Posted by saint_em View Post
Hi all,

I am after a bit of advice.

We have an Amex 2 for 1 that expires in Jan 2019, and we thought we'd use it to get us to Hawaii - or rather, part of the way there - for a proper holiday rather than a mileage run. As the flights will start to become available in the next 6/8 weeks I wanted to try to line up our strategy!

​​​​​The obvious thing seems to be to use the voucher for a flight to the West Coast of America and then use cash or Avios for an onward flight.

However, I had a few questions...

1. We can afford to pay cash for tickets if we bought them as a holiday and spread the payments - can you do this for an ex-EU trip, and if so should we focus on any particular departure points? We've done lots of ex-EU trips so are happy with that approach but have only ever bought them on a flight-only basis.

2. If we do use the voucher, is going via LAX/SFO the way to do it, or are there other places that onward connections to Hawaii would work from?

3. I know it is long way off and things change, but are there any airlines/planes/cabins we should avoid on the XXX-Hawaii route?

Sorry, a lot of questions - I hope they are BA-specific enough, I wanted to tap in to the collective knowledge of those who have booked this sort of thing before.

Thank you, and happy Christmas!
Currently in Maui ( we spend Xmas and New Year here every year ) and tend to travel to the Hawaiian islands 3 or 4 times a year.
you do not mention which Class of travel you are looking to redeem in but F availability to the most logical route LAX is not that easy to find particularly at busy periods. You can do the trip in one go if you get the early BA flight to LAX and then one of the later flights to your destination island. It is however very tiring even if in F and we tend to stop overnight in one of the LAX airport hotels and then take an early flight to the islands the following morning.
coming back we always take a daytime flight back and will try to connect with the later BA A380 flight out of LAX which works well for some islands.
we have been to all the islands except Molokai - Big Island is our favourite followed by Maui. Oahu where Honolulu is, is the least Hawaiian of the islands.

The airfare on AA from LAX to the islands can be picked up at reasonable prices if you book early enough and you can also get Avios availability too.
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Old Dec 24, 17, 2:24 pm
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Thanks for the latest responses.

If we use the voucher we'd probably be looking at J, if cash then probably WTP unless we can get a bargain or there's a decent part-pay offer.

It seems as though there are lots of options...I feel a spreadsheet coming on!
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Old Dec 24, 17, 2:48 pm
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Originally Posted by scillyisles View Post
Six daily AA flights from LAX to HNL 5 are A321S one is B772
This is highly seasonally variable. onobond is broadly correct and you are not as regards this route.

Over the current new year (2017-2018) a B772 is scheduled, but by 2018-01-10 LAX-HNL services on AA are all A321S ("32B" aircraft code).

6 flights operate on only a few days at the New Year. The more usual number is three daily services mid-week and four daily at weekends for most of the first quarter of the year. Later in the year this increases to five flights each day. Do be careful if reading ExpertFlyer or other GDS timetables, as the same flight number can be listed more than once at different times in the week.

The A321S is the usual aircraft on this route. Any widebody is overall a rare thing.

As regards quality of seating, the A321S "domestic First" seating is adequate for a day flight. I would not recommend an overnight flight in such a seat, at the times when such a flight is scheduled.
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